Will Congress Pass the Electoral Count Reform Act Before the End of 2022?
On October 14, BFA hosted a briefing with special guest Matt Shapanka, chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, about the status of the Electoral Count Reform Act (ECRA) and its chances of passage before the end of 2022.
The original Electoral Count Act, adopted in 1887, is the primary legal framework for the casting and counting of electoral votes for president and vice president in accordance with the Constitution. The law’s vague and antiquated language is cited by many as a contributing factor to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Shapanka, who advises Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on the Rules Committee, remains cautiously optimistic that much-needed changes will be made to the act this year, since it has garnered bipartisan support from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other key GOP senators.
“We are pleased to announce that the Senate’s ECA Reform effort now has 32 cosponsors,” said Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) in late September. “This carefully crafted reform is the result of months of bipartisan negotiation in the Senate. We are grateful to have the support of so many of our colleagues including both Senate Leaders and the leaders of the Senate Rules Committee. We will keep working to enact this important legislation this year.”
A similar bill has passed the House, and negotiations are underway to reach a compromise between the two chambers. Senator Collins predicts that since the Senate version of the bill is overwhelmingly bipartisan, most of the key components will be kept.
While the Senate may vote on the ECRA as a stand-alone bill during the lame duck session, Shapanka said it is just as likely to have it included in the omnibus government funding bill to be voted on before Congress adjourns for the year.
Shapanka took time to thank Business for America and highlight the importance of businesses expressing support for reforming the Electoral Count Act. Political stability and an orderly transition of power are necessary ingredients to economic success and creating a conducive environment for business to operate in, he added. He recommended keeping the pressure on by reaching out to senators on both sides of the aisle.
For more background about why BFA and businesses are advocating for changes in the 135-year-old law, read our earlier blog post Congress Must Update the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Business Can Help.
If your company is interested in learning more and joining us in supporting this critical legislation, please visit bfa.us/ecra.